Fewer houses sold; house prices rising less steeply

House prices are not rising as sharply Photo credit: Omroep Brabant Karin Kamp

Fewer houses are sold in our province than the year before. In the past three months sales fell by eleven per cent compared to the same period last year.  Only the province of Drente saw a bigger decline in the number of houses sold. New figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) combined with the Kadaster (land registry office) show this. 

Nationwide, over five thousand houses were sold in the last three months, a decline by 6.4 per cent compared to the same period last year.

The new figures show that house prices are rising less steeply all over The Netherlands. The average house price in the second quarter was 18.4 per cent higher than a year earlier;  this difference is now11.9 per cent. The rise in prices in Brabant was 12.5 per cent, slightly above the national average.

Home price increases thing of the past

Looking at house prices per month, it is noticeable that prices in September fell most steeply since May 2013. Compared with August they fell by 0.7 per cent. August showed a decrease of 0.1 per cent compared to July.  This trend leads CBS economist Frank Notten to the conclusion that “the time of home price increases is now really over”.

Who plans to buy a house in the near future should not let the deceleration make them reluctant to go ahead, president Klaas Knot of De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) said only last week. He regards the developments on the real estate markets as ‘a welcome cooling down’.

Rising mortgage rates

According to Knot the lower house prices result from the rise in mortgage rates. People cannot borrow as much as they used to. Eventually, though, the market should find a new equilibrium.

Knot also pointed out that many houses are still sold above the asking price, and there is still a housing shortage in The Netherlands. Moreover, he thinks people should not see a house as an investment but as a home, bought because they want to live in it.

 

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